You Can Now Rent Your Wardrobe — Another Miracle of the Sharing Economy

By Chloe Anagnos

The sharing economy has made sharing our private property and time more than acceptable; it’s made it a glamorous occupation. As millennials transform side hustles into how they make a living, yet another aspect of our personal lives is becoming fair game: our closets.

Apps like Poshmark and Rent the Runway have already made it possible for people to have access to designer dresses and accessory rentals at affordable prices. But now, people can actually rent their own wardrobes thanks to the startup app Tulerie, a peer-to-peer clothing-rental app.

In addition to being the first to let people rent their own clothes, the fashion startup adds a flair of exclusivity to its brand, as its invitation-only model allows it to act as a medium for borrowers and lenders willing to rent high-end items. The app also serves as a real-life style community, hosting parties so that members can meet up in person.

One of Tulerie’s co-founders, Violet Gross, told the Wall Street Journal that one of the app’s goals is to convince the fast-fashion fan that “renting a $40 Fendi skirt instead of buying one at Zara for the same price” is not just better for her budget, it will also be better for the environment, as her single-serving fashion piece won’t “end up in a landfill.”

To Tulerie users such as Diana Giese, 37, using the app is about saving money.

Giese told the Wall Street Journal that, overall, she spends $3,600 less per year on clothing than she did when she actually had to shop for it, all thanks to Tulerie and Rent the Runway.

To the high-end fashion lovers who make their wardrobes available on Tulerie, renting their luxury items ends up making shopping an even more enjoyable experience. After all, when purchasing a quality item now, you “know the ticket price doesn’t necessarily have to be the final price,” the app user Maegan Vaz, 30, told reporters. “If you purchase something for $500 and then people rent it a few times, it comes down to half price.”

Since its mid-September launch, Tulerie, which can be seen as another product of the sharing economy’s revolution, has quickly grown in popularity precisely because it gives the consumer a choice.

As sociologist Skyler Wang explained, allowing people to share their own property gives consumers access to different possibilities. They now can try something, experiment with it, and then be done without growing attached to it. “People don’t necessarily want to commit to just one thing anymore,” she added.

In addition, both the devaluing of the dollar over the decades thanks to the Federal Reserve’s manipulation of interest rates and the suffocating consequences of government’s interference in the economy have hurt millennials’ job prospects.

Many struggle to make ends meet and have to resort to gigs and side hustles. When apps like Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, and Poshmark entered the picture, they changed how young people saw work itself, with some completely ditching their chosen careers to dedicate themselves entirely to managing their sharing business.  

Apps like Tulerie are now giving young women yet another reason to use a side hustle to guarantee they can continue affording the things they love without breaking the bank. What’s more, they may even make a profit in the process.

Millennials Are Wary of Spending

Shoppers are smarter than any bureaucrat. That’s because they have the best information source available: the pricing system.

When affordability becomes a problem, consumers adapt and either look for cheaper options, limit the number of products and services they consume so they won’t deplete their savings, or look for new ways to boost their income. Millennials, it seems, are particularly aware of spending as they are still wary of getting too deep into credit cards or investing a whole decade after the financial crisis.

As they found alternative ways of making their shopping work with their lifestyle needs, they quickly made up the demand that made secondhand shopping a major industry. It’s no wonder that there’s now a need for a luxury-clothing app that lets users rent their most prized possessions, and that buyers are excited about it.

Hopefully, government won’t do to Tulerie what it’s been trying to do with Airbnb and other major sharing-economy giants: make it harder for users to actually make the best out of their own property.

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Chloe Anagnos

Chloe Anagnos is AIER's Publications Manager. She is a writer and digital marketer and has been an AIER contributor since 2017. Her work has been the subject of articles in FOX News, USA Today, CNN Money, and WIRED. She has been a writer, commentator, and panelist for media outlets around the country on subjects like political marketing, campaigning, and social media. Follow @ChloeAnagnos.